The Word

Assurance of God’s Protection

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.                                                          

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.

He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore

Psalm 121 NRSV

Give thanks that on the journey of life you never travel alone. Ask God to accompany you in the coming days, whatever lies around the corner.

Journeying to Jerusalem takes you up into the hills. From the coast or the Jordan, climbing is involved. When your back is tired and your legs are stiff you look up to see what lies ahead. Sometimes, when life is frenetic, you catch a needed sense of perspective when you consider how long the hills have been there, silent witnesses to countless generations. The overwhelming crisis of today will be forgotten with the passing of the years. The hills also serve as visual aids, pointing upwards to their Creator, who stands above his creation. It is in him we place our trust. The very reason for pilgrimage is to meet with God, the maker of heaven and earth, and to put our hand afresh into his.

When life seems out of control we need to be reminded that God is there, his care promised and his protection guaranteed. Standing guard over our lives, he does not doze off or get distracted. Guiding us along tricky paths, he watches out for loose stones and rough places where we might trip. He alerts us to them, ready where needed to give a steadying hand.

On the road by day or night, challenges are a constant feature. The burning sun by day can exhaust the strongest person, and shade and refreshment are welcome relief. Night-time has its own dangers, not least from robbers, but God keeps watch – 24/7. What a reassurance that at every stage of the journey though life, whether in the growing years of childhood, the demanding years of adult life and the significant years of retirement and ageing, God never wearies of us and never leaves us alone. May that inspire our private time with God as we lift up our hearts in praise and our eyes in wonder and worship.

As you face the future do you stride forward confidently, or has fear reduced you to a tentative tiptoe, paralysed by fear? Step forward in faith today.